What are charter schools?
Charter schools are privately-run, publicly funded schools. Charters can be for-profit, non-profit, religious, or virtual. Currently charter schools are not allowed to operate in Washington State. Washington voters have rejected three separate initiatives attempts to change that law (in 1996, 2000, and 2004).
PAA-Seattle supports the full funding our our existing public schools, rather than closing and replacing them with “cheap” privately operated, publicly unaccountable, largely ineffective or low-performing charter schools.1 Currently Washington’s schools rank 44th in the nation in public school funding2 and our budgets have been dramatically cut for six straight years. Charter schools accept these grim conditions, but we don’t.
There is a big push (including an initiative filed by LEV on May 223) led by many well-funded public school reform groups to change the law in Washington in order to bring charters into our state. For this reason, charter schools have become a critical issue for members of PAA-Seattle.
Look at our Charter Facts for more information about charter schools in general and the charter movement in Washington State.
See our Charter School Resources page for links to studies and articles about charter schools.